A CBS local anchor described the outpouring of people as protesting Trump’s unwelcome visit to the Squirrel Hill synagogue where eleven people were murdered by a Trump caravan conspiracy believer (video), “This is a protest like none I’ve ever seen in the Pittsburgh area, hordes of people.”
So it didn’t take embarrassed conservatives long to smear the thousands of mourning Pittsburgh protesters who turned their backs on President Trump, who was asked NOT to come to Pittsburgh until all of the slaughtered had been buried.
The smear is that the people who organized the protest have a goal is “Their coalition today incl. Democratic Socialists of America & the Int’l Socialist Organization.”
That big anti-Trump protest today in Pittsburgh was organized by a group called IfNotNow, whose goal is to end "the Israeli occupation" of Gaza & the West Bank. Their coalition today incl. Democratic Socialists of America & the Int'l Socialist Organization https://t.co/abet1VyT7p pic.twitter.com/M4cA6iGaiY
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) October 30, 2018
Donald Trump Jr liked this tweet, so it’s already reached the upper halls of the Fake News Emporium that is our White House.
First of all, because this is a conservative smear there are several layers of lies. The first fact to clear up is that there were two protests, not just one. Yes, really, the majority of people in Pittsburgh didn’t want the Divider-in-Chief to visit. He is not exactly known as the Chief Consoler, but worse, his false fear-mongering about the caravan is what motivated the shooter of the synagogue and the anti-Semitic right wing conspiracy that George Soros is funding the caravan pointed the finger at Jewish people. There was the protest organized by IfNotNow and another one organized by progressive Jewish group Bend the Arc.
IfNotNow says their goal is “Moved to act by moral anguish and inspired by Hillel’s three questions, they organized Mourner’s Kaddish actions in nearly a dozen cities across the country and lamented the loss of both Israeli and Palestinian life. They had three demands: Stop the War on Gaza, End the Occupation, and Freedom and Dignity for All
Safety in solidarity.
Wow, they want to end white nationalism. How radical *of them.* No wonder the Trumpites are outraged.
The protests that have so hurt the feelings of the Trump cult included people peacefully kneeling and turning their backs on Trump’s motorcade. Mind you, Jewish leaders and the Mayor begged Trump NOT TO COME right now to Pittsburgh, for security reasons and to let the grieving process be unhindered by Trump’s political purposes. But Trump wanted a good photo op, so he packed up his current family and off they went. Yes, a few Trump supporters were glad to see him, but they were not the majority by far and were not speaking for the community as others were when asking Trump not to come.
Local CBS reported, “Thousands of people gathered in Squirrel Hill Tuesday for two protests in opposition to President Donald Trump’s visit to the City of Pittsburgh, following the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
Tens of thousands of people signed an online petition against the visit after it was first announced over the weekend, in the hours after the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue that claimed 11 lives.”
The “No Antisemitism, No White Supremacy, No Trump” protest is the one IfNotNow organized with 13 other organizations.
The “Pittsburgh Loves All Our Neighbors” protest was organized by Pittsburgh’s Bend the Arc, Women’s March on Washington and other organizations.
Aside from the marching protests, there was also a sit-in protest and others planned throughout the evening.
The conservative tabloidThe Daily Mail links to The Forward to claim, “The larger of two protest marches was organized by a group called IfNotNow Pittsburgh, along with a coalition that included local branches of Democratic Socialists of America and the International Socialist Organization, according to The Forward.”
But The Forward link does not mention Democratic Socialists of America and International Socialists Organization.
Those organizations listed on the Facebook invite to the event are: “IfNotNow Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh DSA, Pittsburgh Coalition to End the Deadly Exchange, Jewish Voice for Peace – Pittsburgh, International Socialist Organization – Pittsburgh, Thomas Merton Center, Nightshade Pgh.”
So the second layer of lies is that’s a lot more groups from just one of the protests to smear as socialists (and socialism is actually not an inherently bad ideology like “nationalist” is, but that’s another layer in the lie for another day). Conservatives are acting as if it’s radical to be anti-white nationalist. Um, no. It’s called being civilized.
There were thousands of people at the protests today in Pittsburgh and conservatives don’t get to dismiss them as “socialists” or “mobs.” They were peaceful, they came from all walks of life, but most importantly, they were mourning and Donald Trump chose to ignore requests that he not come to Pittsburgh because he wanted a photo op (something he ironically used to accuse then President Obama of regularly, with his usual gift of projection). He shouldn’t have come. If he didn’t like the reception, well, that’s what you get when you arrange a last minute presidential visit sucking security away from the victims and their families in the middle of funerals after a mass shooting.
Conservatives and Republicans never stop smearing people who are in deep pain, rape victims, people grieving a massacre at their place of worship, people grieving a massacre in their school- it doesn’t matter. Republicans mock and dismiss and belittle and smear.
Vote these people out of office on November 6th.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.